I'm trying to build a TWF Fighter who focuses on criticals. I was looking for a weapon that would let me leverage power attack and still let me dual wield so proficiency would apply to both and is 18/20.

I came across the rapier which seems to fit the bill nicely. So nicely, that I'm trying to understand if this is a mistake:

One-Handed Melee Weapons:

Rapier |    20 gp | 1d4  | 1d6   | 18–20/×2 —   | 2 lbs.    | P | —

But if I look at the fighter's groups under weapons training:

 Blades, Light: dagger, kama, kukri, **rapier**, sickle, starknife, and short sword.

What I'm seeing is that I can use the same weapon to power attack with as I can use to twf and only take the -2/-2 penalty. Is that correct?

Here are my two source links:
http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/classes/fighter.html#fighter http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/ultimateEquipment/armsAndArmor/weapons.html


1 Answer 1


The “light blade weapon group” is distinct from the “light weapon category” and not all members of the former must be members of the latter, despite what the name would imply. Yes, this is dumb.

So anyway, the rapier is a light blade, but not a light weapon; it is a one-handed weapon. It behaves like a light weapon for the purposes of Weapon Finesse only (and cannot receive 1½ Str to damage if you use two hands with it).

Note, however, that (barring a class feature that says otherwise) you will take large penalties for wielding a one-handed weapon in each hand. Two-weapon fighting requires that one of your weapons (designated “off-hand” during any full-attack in which the two-weapon fighting combat option is invoked) be light to avoid these penalties. Since fighters tend to prefer to stick with a single weapon type because of feats and class features that function only with a single weapon, most two-weapon fighters use dual light weapons. The kukri is the typical 18-20 threat range light weapon. Light weapons can benefit from Power Attack, but not from the extra Power Attack damage you get from using both hands on one weapon (but that wouldn’t work with dual-wielding anyway).

Finally, I just wish to warn you that dual-wielding and critical-hitting builds tend to be on the low end of fighter damage. Two-handed weapons have much greater potential. You should be aware of this going in.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I wish to second the part about dual-wielding critical hit builds. Your intuition may say otherwise, especially if you've played a lot of video games, but critical hits aren't that good in D&D/PF unless you have the damage to back it up; thus, they tend to suck for light weapons. Unless you are going for some kind of cheese on-crit effect build (which I would also advise against because it's probably not going to be effective against a very wide array of adversaries), I would stick with bigger weapons on a martial type. I saw someone try a similar build first-hand in PF, and it ended badly. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 7, 2014 at 21:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ I do have a half-orc cleric/fighter that I made for funsies that uses a falchion (two handed). He's kind of crit-oriented (took the Murder domain for Keen Edge), but he uses crits as a sort of secondary supplement to his mainstay of good, consistent damage. In my personal opinion, this is how you should prioritize crits in your build. It's not an optimized build, but it's still pretty effective, and fun. Themed around spells like Deadly Juggernaut and Death Knell that give you immediate buffs for killing things. Hope that helped. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 7, 2014 at 21:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LucasLeblanc I have a similar build; I noticed that I was already maximizing attacks per turn, was using high-threat weapons, and had a lot of flat (critical-multiplied) damage bonuses, so throwing scabbards of keen edges in (high-level so that was cheap) was just a good idea. But I won't be doing more for crits than that. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Nov 8, 2014 at 1:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, long overdue. \$\endgroup\$
    – user11839
    Dec 22, 2014 at 17:07

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